Cape Town runners enjoy 'empty streets' as crowds thin out on Day 2 of exercise window

2020-05-02 16:50
Siya Pikashe and Andile Ngcongca of Langa during their run along Bhunga Drive and King Langalibalele Avenue. (Murray Williams, News24)

Siya Pikashe and Andile Ngcongca of Langa during their run along Bhunga Drive and King Langalibalele Avenue. (Murray Williams, News24)

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Two runners say they enjoyed the empty streets of Cape Town on Saturday morning, glad in knowledge they were safe from the thronging crowds. 

Siya Pikashe and Andile Ngcongca of Langa stopped briefly to speak to News24 during their run along Bhunga Drive and King Langalibalele Avenue after they had clocked up around 8km during the second exercise window under Level 4 of the lockdown. 

"It's awesome," said Pikashe. 

The pair hopes to run every morning - but only "when it's safe - when there are less crowds, less people on the streets".

As long as they have this safe space to run "we'll keep on going", they added.

"But if the streets are crowded, then we call our run off," Pikashe said. 

Ngcongca explained their safety rules: "We're trying to keep the distance as much as we can. So instead of running together [side-by-side], we run behind each other."

The pair has abandoned hopes of competing in any sporting events in 2020, but would be training hard to be in peak shape for 2021.

In the surrounding streets of Langa, only a handful of runners or recreational walkers could be seen. 

On the Atlantic Seaboard, there were thinner crowds on the Sea Point promenade than on Day 1 yesterday.

Light sea spray from a crashing swell mixed with thick fog through which the Mouille Point lighthouse could be seen signalling ships to beware of the rocky coastline.

Exercisers took every shape and form - from a young man on a skateboard being towed by his dog to a young boy with his father who was admonished by a City of Cape Town law enforcement officer because his son did not wear a mask. 

The child appeared perplexed, as he wore a face mask - one which covered his eyes, as worn by comic-book heroes, but not his nose or mouth.

The officers were seen ordering several runners to leave the area as they had no masks either.

Jacobus Bantam, who is homeless, was hopeful he would land a few donations - especially considering his 60th birthday was next week, on 8 May.

Next to him, several homeless people appeared annoyed by the passing chatter, making it difficult to "lie in" on the Saturday morning.

Read more on:    cape town  |  runners  |  lockdown

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